U.S. advances sale of F-16 fighters to Taiwan

17 Août, 2019, 11:36 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • An F-16 fighter jet

The Trump administration is moving forward with an $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, American officials said on Friday.

The decision comes amid heightened tensions with China as a trade war wages on and a crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong draws United States criticism.

The Trump administration has approved the potential military sale of about 66 F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan after notifying Congress about the transaction on Thursday, CNN reported citing Trump administration officials.

The chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Reps. China has insisted for decades it will reunify Taiwan with China.

"It is critical that the U.S. continue to enhance our strategic relationship with our democratic partner Taiwan through regular and consistent support", Rubio said.

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) and ranking Republican Michael McCaul (TX) agreed in a joint statement, writing, the sale "sends a strong message about the US commitment to security and democracy in the Indo-Pacific".

The informal notification starts a period of consultations with Congress and a formal announcement of the sale could be made as early as next month unless lawmakers object.

Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, dismissed concerns that the sale to Taiwan would exacerbate U.S.

Just this week, America's top representative in Taiwan said Washington expects the island to continue increasing its defense spending as Chinese security threats to the US ally continue to grow. "The Department does not comment on proposed defense sales until they are formally notified to Congress", a State Department official told CNN. The sale of 66 jets to Taiwan would be the largest single arms package transaction between the USA and the democratic, self-governing island in years.


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